What if We Don't Raise the Debt Ceiling?

07/13/2011 10:38 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Given the daily budget talks in Washington and lingering questions surrounding whether or not our elected officials will actually raise the debt ceiling, I have been thinking about the consequences should our representatives fail us -- triggering a default.

Predictions include not paying members of our armed services and Social Security checks not going out on time. If, however, the US Congress is forced to shut down its website, I suggest the illustration below as the new default page.

The image is a visual expression of my frustration with partisan gridlock in Washington. It was sparked by the talks surrounding the debt ceiling, but I am afraid it could work for just about anything these days. If you don't get the context, it is a play on Twitter's fail whale. The image below is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonComercial license. So Interwebz, do with it what you must. A collection of variations can be found here. The original fail whale image was created by Yiying Lu and is not so licensed. Ms. Lu retains all rights.